Best day to retire in 2015


Q. I’ve been in CSRS since Feb. 10, 1975, and I turned 65 in January.

1) Which day, in late leave year 2015, would be the best day to retire?

2) What should be my schedule for submitting retirement documents?

A. As I’ve said repeatedly, there is no best day to retire that fits everyone. What I can do is present you with a few facts that may help you to pick one.

First, it makes sense to retire at the end of a pay period. That way you’ll get credit for any annual and sick leave earned during that pay period.

Second, as a CSRS employee, you can retire up to the third day of a month and be on the annuity roll in that month. However, your annuity for that month will be reduced by 1/30 for every one of those three days that day you aren’t on the annuity roll.

Finally, the 2015 leave year for most employees ends Jan. 9, 2016. If you retire before the leave year ends, you’ll receive a lump-sum payment for all your unused annual leave. If you retire after that, you’ll receive a lump-sum payment for a maximum of 240 hours only. As to the schedule for submitting documents, I suggest that you download a copy of OPM’s pamphlet, “Thinking About Retiring?” It’s at


About Author

Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to

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